Athens, Ga. – The Athens Health Network Community Health Partner Program, which is housed at the University of Georgia Fanning Institute for Leadership, held its first graduation ceremony in March. Five graduates were recognized for completing the eight-week training program.
The program, funded by a grant from the Kaiser Foundation through the Athens Area Community Foundation, gives patients in Athens the opportunity to learn about a variety of health topics as well as practice clinical skills.
The Athens Health Network is a nonprofit organization that includes multiple entities from the public health community. Dedicated to improving health and reducing healthcare disparities of the uninsured and underinsured of Athens-Clarke County, Athens Health Network provides a safety net for those in need by connecting healthcare and community leaders.
Program participants attended 16 sessions where they learned about topics such as hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes, prenatal care, domestic violence, asthma, disease prevention, home safety and cancer prevention and screenings.
“My favorite part of the Community Health Partner Program was learning to take blood pressure,” one graduate wrote in a program evaluation, “and the camaraderie with my classmates.”
The graduating class made more than 100 contacts with members in their communities during their training, passing on the health information and practicing the skills they learned. By the end of the program, graduates said they had a better understanding of health issues and were confident in applying what they learned in their homes and communities.
Ongoing educational opportunities will be offered for the graduates. The Athens Health Network is currently preparing for a second group of participants to begin on May 1.
For more information, see www.athenshealthnetwork.org.
UGA Fanning Institute
The Fanning Institute, a public service and outreach unit at UGA, partners with communities and non-profit organizations to strengthen capacity, enhance leadership and foster economic prosperity.